Wendell Trogdon was city editor of The Indianapolis News in 1967 and, based on recommendations from Executive Editor Fremont Power and reporter Mike Brooks, hired me away from the Tipton Tribune in January of that year.
I was a member of The News staff from Feb. 6, 1967 until the paper ceased publication and I became an Indianapolis Star staffer on Oct. 1, 1999.
I was saddened to learn that Wendell, who lived in Mooresville, Ind., died Thursday at the age of 84.
Here’s a thoughtfully written obit from The Star:
Wendell was born July 23, 1929 in Heltonville, Indiana to Wesley and Edith (Cumming) Trogdon. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by siblings, George, Wayne, Mary, and Nora.
He graduated from Heltonville, High School and he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Franklin College in 1951. In 1969 he was selected and attended Stanford University for a year as a National Journalism Fellow. During the Korean War Wendell served in the U.S. Army working in the Counter Intelligence Corps for three years; upon returning to Indiana he began his 38 year newspaper career. His first newspaper job was with the Logansport Pharos-Tribune in 1954. He then worked in the Agricultural Information Department at Purdue University.
Wendell joined The Indianapolis News in 1957 as a reporter, serving as a city editor, then news editor, and retiring as managing editor in September 1992. He was known to push the staff to do stories that made a difference. He cared deeply about the city and the state, and everyone that worked for him understood and respected his passion. In 1974 he began writing "Quips", a brief daily commentary on the events of the times that ran on the front page. In the same year, he started writing "Those Were the Days", based on his growing up in Southern Indiana during the Depression years and World War II. Through the course of his career, he won numerous state awards for journalism, including "best column" and "best feature".
After retirement Wendell continued to write about his beloved Hoosier state, authoring 27 books, traveling every nook and cranny of it with his loving wife, Fabian, by his side. Many of his books focused on life in Southern Indiana in the 1930s and 1940s.
Wendell was also a great family man. He was married to Fabian (Lannerd) Trogdon in 1954, living the majority of their life in the same home in Mooresville, Indiana. He was the father of three grown children: Tamara Bailey of Eminence, Deanna Trogdon of Plainfield and Jenell Hadley (Jerry) of Noblesville. He also had four loving grandchildren: Travis Kersey, Kayla Hadley, Maggie Hadley and Wesley Hadley. Additional survivors include sisters, Nellie Mikels of Bedford and Martha Black of Bloomington; a special brother, Ken Speer of Edinburgh.
He had a lifelong love of the outdoors and spent countless hours working in his yard planting flowers and fighting the ever present moles that lived all around it. When he wasn't writing or gardening, he could be seen walking the four or five miles from his house to the Mooresville Town Park a journey which he did almost every day. Wendell was a member of the Mooresville First United Methodist Church for more than 50 years.
Wendell lived a full and blessed life, accepting the many accolades given him with quiet humility, a trait he learned from his father and passed to his children. His passions for family, journalism and nature are legacies that will live on through the many people he has touched during his life.
Friends and family will gather on Monday, June 2, 2014, 4 to 8 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church, 900 Indianapolis Road, Mooresville. The funeral service will begin at 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in the church. A graveside committal service will be held in his hometown of Heltonville on Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m., in the Mundell Christian Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or to a favorite charity. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Carlisle - Branson Funeral Service & Crematory , Mooresville. Visit http://www.carlislebranson.com to share a favorite memory or to sign the online guest registry.